Miami-Dade County Public Schools' superintendent announced Tuesday the district intends to welcome back all students to in-person learning next fall.
"Many of our students have learned well online, but there is no substitute for the live presence of a dedicated, caring professional teacher," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said at a task force meeting. "So it is our plan as a school system to welcome back 100% of all of our students across all grade levels -- that's pre-K through 12 for the 2021-22 school year."
Carvalho said the decision was based on several factors, including guidance from their medical experts. He also pointed out the increased vaccinations and the downward trend in COVID-19 positivity rates.
Carvalho added that in-person learning is the best thing for the students— many of whom have struggled socially and emotionally during this pandemic.
This comes a day after Broward County Public Schools made a similar announcement.
The task force also revisited a lot of the COVID-19 protocols that have been in place this past year and began discussing how some of that might be able to look different, given some of the progress being made in the community.
Schools and COVID
For example, the task force is looking at possibly reducing the quarantine period for students who have been exposed to the virus.
The superintendent pointed out a lot has happened over the last 12 months— and the impact on the kids cannot be ignored.
"One of the preoccupations that we continue to live with is the compound effect of academic regression associted with this pandemic, in addition to the social and emotional effects associated with social isolation of many of our students," Carvalho said. "That's why these recommendations are being brought to this task force."